Our Christmas Traditions
Our Christmas Traditions – when you’re a kid you don’t really think about the things that you do each year at Christmas as a given. It’s not until you’re an adult and have children of your own that you realise that it’s these traditions that make Christmas special, it’s those things that our children will remember.
My Childhood Christmas Traditions
I was born and brought up in a little village called Rishton in Lancashire and my Nan would visit us most years from Exeter, Devon where we live now.
We always looked forward to my Nan coming as she would always bring us treats.
Every year without fail my Nan bought us all a new dressing gown, slippers and pyjamas (nightdresses for us girls). Looking back they were really old fashioned grannyesque nightdresses with quilted dressing gowns with material buttons. My sister and I always got the same but in a different colour.
We always went to Sunday school and took part in whatever crafts and carol singing they were doing.
My Nan was an amazing baker and whenever she visited she always made various things including jam rolypoly. We all fought over being the helper and would play with the biscuit scraps for ages
The Christmas number one was always something to be anticipated. We used to listen to the radio for the top 40 countdown every Sunday wholistic my mum ironed our school uniform and Top of the Pops was a much watch. Of course you had to watch it ‘real time’ which I know is quite retro these days.
A trip to Rays – this was a local shop that sold a bit of everything. Growing up with a single mum meant that it was always up to my Nan to make sure that we bought our mum a Christmas present. So we went to Rays to choose something. I remember buying her this like picture frame on a swivel stand (a bit like a mirror) that was full of coloured sand that you tipped up to create sand patterns. It was really naff but my mum said she liked it.
Christmas films – any Christmas films that were on the TV (all four channels) were something that everybody looked forward to. Santa Claus the movie and Home Alone were my absolute faves.
When I had Ryan it was a given that he would get new pyjamas on Christmas Eve but we also needed to find our own family traditions which we’ve added to year on year.
Our Christmas Traditions
Christmas pyjamas – every year the kids get new ones. I’ve yet to convince Chris to wear matching pyjamas bit one of these days we’ll get him to do it.
Christmas Eve – Christmas Eve is definitely a hot chocolate and Christmas movie day. We quite often have takeaway or pizza and snuggle up on the sofa ready for a solid few days of non-stop eating.
Christmas decorations – I love seeing all the colour coordinated glamorous looking trees, but I love our tree. Our Christmas decorations have been collected over the years or made by the kids so mean so much more. We buy a new Christmas decoration each year and this year will be Freddie’s first christmas so we’re on the look out for a decoration for him.
Decorating the actual tree itself is an event by the time you’ve looked through all the bits and remembered who made what and how long we’ve had them. I always put on cheesy Christmas music and crack open some sweets and chocolates.
Father Christmas visit – who doesn’t love to take the kids to see Father Christmas. We’ve been to some lovely ones and also some not so lovely ones over the years. I think we missed a couple of years as Isabelle was terrified of him. The worse one we went to was one that just ended up being a photograph opportunity that you could buy for an extortionate amount of money and we were shuffled along like an Aldi checkout.
Christmas stockings – where do you put yours? We started off by putting it at the end of Ryan’s bed l, but one year he has a freak out about Father Christmas being in his bedroom so we started putting it outside his bedroom door and we’ve carried this on.
Christmas crafts – Isabelle loves crafts any time of the year but we love to make Christmas cards, paper chains and other decorations.
Christmas Day outfit – we always have something new to wear. We usually go to my in-laws for christmas so we do have to get dressed. It’s lovely to make the effort.
Christmas morning always starts the same way. I’m always awake first and I either noisily make my way to the loo to wake Isabelle up or send the dog upstairs. Either way we have to peel both Ryan and Chris out of their beds. I always make Chris a coffee and a cuppa for myself and then the kids pile onto our bed to open their stockings. I should at this point mention that eventhe dog gets in on this as well. He has his own stocking and you’ve never seen such an excited dog! This is probably my favourite part of the day when the excitement is at its highest. We then make our way downstairs for the present reveal.
It’s going to be a bit different this year as we’ve lost the eldest to his girlfriend and have gained another small person, but I can’t wait to introduce Freddie to Christmas!
Advent calendars – when I was a kid we had advent calendars but they were nativity scenes with little pictures inside, no chocolate to be seen. We have advent calendars for the kids, a chocolate one and a gifty type one and for the last couple of years we’ve done a book advent which is nice to read before bedtime.
Elf on the Shelf – Eek I’m not a fan in the slightest of Elf on the Shelf and have managed to avoid this so far. However, Isabelle asked the other day if I thought she might get a visit from an elf this year since some of her friends have. I’ve done a bit of quick homework and although I’m not going to go for elaborate props or scenes, I think that I can pull it off. Just about!
Late night shopping is another thing that we like to do. There’s something lovely about walking round the shops when it’s dark outside. Even better if it’s a trip around the Christmas market.
I enjoy these things far more than the whole buying and wrapping presents which I find quite stressful. I love seeing my children’s faces on Christmas morning but the pressure to spend seems to get more intense every year.
What traditions do you have with your family? Comment below.